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This content will become publicly available on December 22, 2018

Title: How Many Kilonovae Can Be Found in Past, Present, and Future Survey Data Sets?

The discovery of a kilonova (KN) associated with the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO)/Virgo event GW170817 opens up new avenues of multi-messenger astrophysics. Here, using realistic simulations, we provide estimates of the number of KNe that could be found in data from past, present, and future surveys without a gravitational-wave trigger. For the simulation, we construct a spectral time-series model based on the DES-GW multi-band light curve from the single known KN event, and we use an average of BNS rates from past studies of $${10}^{3}\,{\mathrm{Gpc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$$, consistent with the one event found so far. Examining past and current data sets from transient surveys, the number of KNe we expect to find for ASAS-SN, SDSS, PS1, SNLS, DES, and SMT is between 0 and 0.3. We predict the number of detections per future survey to be 8.3 from ATLAS, 10.6 from ZTF, 5.5/69 from LSST (the Deep Drilling/Wide Fast Deep), and 16.0 from WFIRST. The maximum redshift of KNe discovered for each survey is $z=0.8$ for WFIRST, $z=0.25$ for LSST, and $z=0.04$ for ZTF and ATLAS. This maximum redshift for WFIRST is well beyond the sensitivity of aLIGO and some future GW missions. For the LSST survey, we also provide contamination estimates from Type Ia and core-collapse supernovae: after light curve and template-matching requirements, we estimate a background of just two events. Finally, more broadly, we stress that future transient surveys should consider how to optimize their search strategies to improve their detection efficiency and to consider similar analyses for GW follow-up programs.
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Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; AC02-05CH11231; 14-WPS14-0048; HST-HF2-51383.001; NAS 5-26555; AST-1411763; AST- 1714498; NNX15AE50G; NNX16AC22G; AC05-00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 852; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
Contributing Orgs:
DES Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Stars: Neutron; stars; neutron
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1422475; OSTI ID: 1432243